Luis Perez, an All-American Quarterback at Texas A&M University-Commerce, had the most unusual transition to college football.
A 2013 walk on at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, California, Perez hadn’t played football since he’d first entered high school. Although he had played football while growing up, his high school coach moved him from Quarterback to Wide Receiver and his heart wasn’t completely in it. “I stopped loving the game, so I quit and got into bowling,” said Perez. For the rest of his high school athletic career, Perez put all his time and effort into Bowling. He competed at the national level and can boast many perfect games and multiple 299 games. When he was preparing to go to college, Perez then decided to the do the unthinkable and start a college football career.
After many colleges turned him away due to the lack of experience, he found a place as a walk on at Southwestern. He was far behind the game on the field and in the film room from not playing in four years, but just like riding a bike, it took Perez no time to get back in the game. He ended up winning a starting job as Quarterback. “My work ethic is definitely what separated me from everyone. I really took pride in learning the game and also all the little stuff as far as being a leader and being coachable,” said Perez. In the season he played for the Jaguars, he started to turn heads by throwing for 1,846 yards, 18 touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
After a successful season at Southwestern, Perez continued to push himself further, he wanted to take his game to the next level. He transferred to Texas A&M University-Commerce after talking with a former teammate at Southwestern, Vernon Johnson. “I contacted him asking him about Commerce and he said nothing but good things and on top of all the research I have done, I knew that this was the place for me,” said Perez. After redshirting due to transfer rules, he picked up right where he left off and won the starting job at Quarterback.
Perez had a season to remember in 2016 as a Junior, breaking records and receiving numerous awards. In an All-American season, he threw for 32 touchdowns and 3,326 yards, all while only throwing five interceptions. Leading the Lions to an 11-2 record and the conference-leading offense to 39.8 points per game, they recorded the most wins in school history. His 32 passing touchdowns broke a school record of 27 and he threw for more than 300 yards five different times, including a career-high 396 yards against Panhandle State.
Accolades were abundant. He was a Harlon Hill Nominee (Division 2 Heisman), Don Hansen Honorable Mention All-American, 2nd Team All-Region, 1st Team All-Conference, Offensive MVP, Male Athlete Newcomer of the Year, and King of the Jungle (Overall best athlete, GPA, and community service hours in all of sports at Texas A&M-Commerce). Perez just completed Junior day measuring in at 6026 height, 222.8 pounds, 9-7/8″ hand length, and a 32″ arm length. To date, in his college career, Perez has thrown for 55 touchdowns, 5,755 yards, and has only 9 interceptions.
Luis Perez can become a household name in 2017 if he continues on the success from his Junior season. He is looking to surpass his season totals from last year with goals of 50 total touchdowns, 68% completion percentage, throw for under 5 interceptions, and recording 5,000 total yards. Most importantly, Perez wants to lead his Lions to a National Championship.